News In Brief - February 29, 2008

Winthrop student charged in assault

A Winthrop University student was arrested Thursday after police said he punched a 19-year-old female student in the face, police said.

Authorities charged Gradlin Dennis Thompson, 20, of 1120 Presidents Circle with assault and battery, according to a report from the Winthrop University Police Department.

Thompson's charge stems from an incident that happened Feb. 22 at the Courtyard at 256 Columbia Ave.

The 19-year-old woman, also a Winthrop student, told police Thompson punched her in the face during an argument, the report states. She then hit Thompson, who pushed her to the floor and stood over her until a male witness opened a door leading to a stairwell, according to the report.

The woman declined to press charges at that time. Thompson was referred to the Winthrop judicial system, the report states.

On Thursday, a judge set bond at $1,085 for Thompson, who later was released. He is slated to appear in court on March 13.

More Lake Wylie boat ramps reopened

Officials have opened more boat ramps along Lake Wylie, York County's public works director David Harmon said Thursday.

The following access points have newly reopened ramps, Harmon said:

Allison Creek: Two of four ramps are open

Buster Boyd: All ramps are open

Ebenezer: Open

Nivens Creek: Open but under caution

South Point: Three of six ramps are open

Other Lake Wylie ramps already have reopened.

Winthrop names dean of University College

Gloria Godfrey Jones, chairwoman of Winthrop University's Department of English, has been selected the new dean of University College.

University College coordinates programs from academic affairs and student affairs to make sure students have a common foundation for learning. Jones will oversee the Touchstone program, honors program, International Center, Teaching and Learning Center, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and the distinction in leadership, among other things.

Deans are responsible for helping coordinate activities such as orientation, the common book and Welcome Week.

Jones has a bachelor's degree in English from UNC-Greensboro, a master's degree in English from Winthrop and a Ph.D. in English from UNC-Greensboro.

She will assume her new position July 1.

Virginia author to speak at Winthrop

Charles Marsh, a professor of religious studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia, will speak at Winthrop University at 7 p.m. Monday in Plowden Auditorium.

Marsh will talk about his book "The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today."

The lecture, which is being sponsored by the Winthrop Community Campus Ministries, the Office of Multicultural Student Life and the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, is free and open to the public.

Rock Hill High to host jazz event tonight

Rock Hill High School will present A Night of Jazz, featuring the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's Sherman Irby, at 7 tonight in the school auditorium.

The event is presented in conjunction with Charles Craig Arts and Education. Admission is $7.

The event is a tribute to the Rev. Dr. Willie G. Boulware; donations will be accepted for the Dr. Willie G. Boulware Foundation. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Memorial barbecue today and Saturday

A memorial barbecue for Caleb Byers is today and Saturday at Bethesda Volunteer Fire Department, on S.C. 324 southwest of Rock Hill just off S.C. 322.

Plates are $7, barbecue is $7 per pound. Delivery is available for five or more orders.

The barbecue, sponsored by Bethesda VFD, First Baptist Church of Rock Hill and the Rock Hill Fire Department, runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. until the food is gone Saturday. For information, call 328-0779.

Clover schools to sign up pre-K, kindergartners

CLOVER -- Registration for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children will be held next week at all elementary schools in the Clover school district.

Children must register at the school in the attendance area where they live. Registration times are:

• March 3: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• March 4: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 6 p.m.

• March 5 to 7: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For information, contact the Clover school district office at 803-810-8000.

S.C. bill sets up payments for wrongful convictions

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina would pay people who are wrongfully convicted up to $50,000 for their time in prison under legislation heading to the House. The bill limits payments to people who are wrongfully convicted to no more than $15,000 for each year served in prison and caps payments at $50,000.

The conviction has to be reversed or vacated by a court and the person has to be found innocent. And no one can claim the payment if they pleaded guilty to an offense or a lesser charge or are serving time concurrently for another crime.

The Senate agreed to give the bill final approval Friday, which would send it to the House.